The recipient of considerable acclaim when released in 1965, Baby the Rain Must Fall comes across today as somewhat pretentious and quite labored. Unrelentingly grim, Baby wants to make some profound statements about relationships and the important role that a parent-child relationship plays in mapping an individual's future, but it comes across as alternately muddled and simplistic instead. It also feels very much a product of its own time, and its "period" feeling robs it of some of its power. Still, it does contain one of Steve McQueen's finest performances, his cool underplaying mixing with outbursts of tension and anger to good effect. It also benefits from the haunting, melancholy performance of Lee Remick, who provides many poignant, appealing moments. There's a great deal of pain in the movie, and director Robert Mulligan does a fine job of capturing the sadness that permeates the story, but there's not enough variety; ultimately the film becomes suffocating and difficult to watch, without a sufficient payoff for the effort.